BRADENTON – Local U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) is one of 80 members of the house who have signed on as co-sponsors to Rep. Tim Murphy's (R-PA) "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act." The sweeping legislation seeks to reform the nation's mental health system.
The bipartisan measure marks the most significant overhaul of mental health care in America since President John F. Kennedy held office more than 50 years ago.
According to a release from the Congressman's office, the key components of the legislation include:
Nearly 23 million Americans live with a severe form of mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In fact, one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
In expressing his support, Buchanan noted the importance of instituting long-lasting reforms to help relieve the suffering of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
“Mental illness does not discriminate,” Buchanan said. “This is a disease that affects all segments of society and yet so many continue to fall through the cracks. We must do everything in our power to strengthen our mental health system so our loved ones receive the proper care and treatment they need.”
The legislation is the product of a yearlong congressional investigation that thoroughly examined how the government spends $125 billion annually on mental health programs. Investigators found that federal agencies too often fail to use the best medical practices available and rarely coordinate their actions.
No comments on this item
Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.